The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered: A.J.P. Taylor and the Historians

The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered: A.J.P. Taylor and the Historians

The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered: A.J.P. Taylor and the Historians

The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered: A.J.P. Taylor and the Historians

Synopsis

When A.J.P. Taylor's The Origins of the Second World War appeared in 1961 it made a profound impact. The book became a classic and a central point of reference in all discussion on the Second World War.The second edition of this distinguished collection, written by leading experts in the field, is designed to bring the state of the argument up to date. The issues discussed include:* the legacy of the Treaty of Versailles* Hitlers foreign policy* Appeasement* AJP Taylor and the Russians* the treatment of the crises leading up to war including the Anschluss, Danzig, Abysinnian crises and the Spanish Civil War.This second edition will ensure that The Origins of the Second World War will remain a high priority student and scholarly reading lists.

Excerpt

Books have their own histories: they have births (usually painful), lives (sometimes long, sometimes short), and deaths (often slow). When, in 1983, I first had the idea for this one, it proved difficult to bring to fruition. Publishers were wary of the project, suggesting that it did not seem “marketable.” Fifteen years, thousands of copies and six printings have shown that the people who commission books may be no better at forecasting the future than are those who propose them. So I begin by paying homage once again to Jane Harris-Matthews, then of Allen & Unwin, who was willing to take a chance on the idea - and on its proponent who, at the time, was only beginning his editorial career

During its life to date this book has passed from Allen & Unwin to Unwin Hyman, then to HarperCollins, and now, perhaps finally, to Routledge. Its editor at Routledge, Heather McCallum, believing that it has a future still, asked me in 1996 if I would be prepared to prolong its life by producing a new edition. Uncertain as to whether the book’s life deserved to be thus extended and also of my own willingness to revitalize it - I consulted colleagues who had been using the book in their teaching. Somewhat to my surprise, they were unanimous in their opinion that a new edition would be helpful, and they were forthcoming with suggestions about how it might be made more useful. In producing this new edition, I have, in so far as it was possible, been guided by their advice. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to include in the second edition revised versions of all of the essays that appeared in the first. The fact that the contributions of Norman Rich, Piotr Wandycz, Lloyd Gardner, Akira Iriye, and Edward Ingram do not appear in revised form here is certainly no reflection on the quality of their essays. Students and scholars who wish to consult these authors may do so via the internet (at: http://quarles.unbc.ca/history/hist.html).

The first edition was produced without the use of computers (or e-mail) and, with almost everyone now using them, I thought it would be helpful to contributors to work on a computerized version of their original essay This work was willingly undertaken by my wife Valerie, who, in spite of her qualms about the computer age (which, she argues, means mainly that I am now able to work all of the time, anywhere), did the job with her customary dedication and good humor. So the renascence of this book owes much to her The first edition,

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